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Welcoming New Volunteers—We All Play a Role
By Katie Meyer, EAA 113651, HR Business Partner and Volunteer Program Manager
March 2016 - Each year EAA welcomes the next group of volunteers who take on a variety of roles at AirVenture, headquarters, or out in the field. When it comes to welcoming new volunteers, we can all play our part to introduce them into the world of volunteerism. EAA has had the pleasure of having many long-term volunteers, and each year we see them pass on their knowledge and experience to the new volunteers joining the ranks. Wondering what role you can play? Here’s how you can help the next volunteers:
- Walk them through their role as volunteers. We have all have been the new person…at school, at a job, or as a volunteer at EAA. If you see someone new, take a few extra minutes to make sure he or she understands the duties in the new volunteer role, or make sure volunteers know where to find you if they have any questions. Open communication is key to making someone feel comfortable in a new role.
- Tell them the EAA story. Volunteers may be members, nonmembers, pilots, aviation enthusiasts, or individuals who are looking to give back. As a current volunteer or member, it is a great opportunity for you to share what EAA is, how it came to be, and the magic behind the organization.
- Introduce them to others. Take a few minutes to introduce a new volunteer to fellow volunteers. One of the most impressive things about EAA’s volunteer areas is the connections that are built between the volunteers. Help them start those connections and build their Oshkosh family.
- Share your stories. Share why you started volunteering, the passion you feel for the organization, and why you continue to come back year after year. Hearing your story may inspire them to continue volunteering for many years to come.
- Most importantly, make them feel welcome. Like Paul Poberezny said, “EAA is open to all. Who do we tell that they are not welcome? Who do we tell that they should just stay home?”